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tv   Newsline 30min  KCSMMHZ  July 6, 2012 6:00am-6:30am PDT

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seeking answers. seven years after one of japan's worst train accidents, former railway executives go on trial. welcome to nhk world "newsline." millions of japanese take the train to and from work every day, and on an april morning in 2005 people on a commuter line were doing just that. but something went wrong. the train derailed and crashed into a building.
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they are facing charges of professional negligence for failing to prevent the derailment. they've all pleaded not guilty. ide apologized friday at the first hearing. but he said the accident was totally unexpected. nanya and kakiuchi also argued the derailment could not have been predicted. public prosecutors initially decided not to file criminal charges against the former presidents, but a citizens panel overturned that decision. so a team of court-appointed lawyers indicted the men. they said the defendants should have instructed their subordinates to install an automatic braking system to prevent accidents. they also appointed out the railway company had prioritized profit over safety. the court acquitted another former president, yamazaki in january. he was the chief of jr west's safety section at the time of the accident.
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some members of the victims' families have criticized the former presidents' decision to plead not guilty. >> translator: i was very offended by the top management's attitude. they think they can just get away with it by claiming they didn't know the facts. >> translator: if they are cleared of all charges, this will have a negative impact on the safety policies of japanese corporations. that's why i really hope we can obtain a full conviction. >> the people who have the power to write checks to support afghanistan are meeting in tokyo this weekend. delegates to an international donor conference will work out the details of a multibillion-dollar aid package to help the country after foreign troops leave. afghan president hamid karzai, secretary of state hillary clinton and ban ki-moon will be among those attending the meeting on sunday. japanese officials are trying to
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negotiate a total package of $15 billion by 2015. the amount is expected to meet a request president karzai made. he wants the money for reconstruction and development after nato troops leave his country in 2014. an afghan minister outlined where some of that funding will go in a speech ahead of sunday's meeting. barmak says continued international support is needed to revive his country's rural areas. barbak is the minister for rural rehabilitation and development. he made his appeal friday at a symposium in tokyo. >> major challenges remain. the conflict continues to delay and destruct development, growth and peace building. >> barmak says access to drinking water and medical services has improved in some villages, but he insists $125 million will be necessary for the next three years to build water supply systems in schools.
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barmak adds if the afghan people were to stop reconstruction, international assistance would go to waste. officials at the u.n.'s children fund support the construction of schools in rural afghanistan, but unicef's representative in the country says it's also important to make sure students go to class. peter crowley says the number of children attending school has increased from 1 million to 8 million in the last decade. he adds female students now account for 40% of all attendees. >> we continue to see occasional attacks against schools. and some of those attacks are attributed to taliban elements. >> crowley expressed hope international leaders will promise continued support for afghanistan at sunday's conference. a new report on the accident at the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant is making waves in japan.
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members of a diet-appointed panel released the more than 600-page document thursday. they criticized the prime minister's office for disrupting their emergency response to last year's accident. and they pointed to accounts given by the plant manager at the time, yoshida. the report quotes yoshida as saying they confused the change of command by directly intervening in the emergency response work. it says yoshida defend his decision to inject seawater into reactors at fukushima to keep them cool. the prime minister's office had told him to stop. he said had the order come from his superiors at tokyo electric power company, he would have considered it, but because it came from the prime minister's office, he ignored it. the report quoted part of yoshida's statement. he said in addition to the order coming from the prime minister's office, we were being given orders by phone which made it difficult to thoroughly discuss the matter. yoshida stressed the situation was completely chaotic, which
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led him to believe he would have to make the final decision on his own. he, therefore, ordered his workers to continue the seawater injection. the panel's report concluded the fukushima daiichi accident was a manmade disaster rather than a natural one. meanwhile, government officials in charge of containing the disaster are taking issue with the report's findings. japan's minister in charge of the nuclear crisis, gochi hosono said the government did not interfere with the emergency response work at fukushima daiichi. >> translator: my understanding is that the urgency of the situation sometimes forced us to contact the engineers because the cabinet had trouble accessing information about the kind of support they needed on the ground. >> hosono also said he believes the lack of a clear division between the roles of the government and tepco added to the confusion in the wake of the
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accident. the u.s. labor department has just released the latest employment figures. the unemployment rate remains stable at 8.2% last month. but the number move to jobs outside the agricultural sector was lower than expected. the labor department says employers added 80,000 nonfarm jobs in june. that's approximately 20,000 less than analysts expected. employment in the manufacturing sector continued to edge up, but figures for mining, construction and retail remained at a standstill. the international monetary fund chief has praised japan for raising the consumption tax but urged the country to make further efforts in restoring its fiscal health. christine lagarde spoke in tokyo on friday. she said japan needs to cut spending and further increases in taxes. earlier last week, the lower house of parliament passed bills
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to raise the consumption tax. >> this is a very good, solid way to address fiscal consolidation needs. it's not in and of itself sufficient, even at not only 8% but 10% or other measures -- other fiscal measures will have to be considered. >> lagarde also reiterated the imf's view that the yen is moderately overvalued. >> if there was further deterioration in the world economic situation, particularly arising out of developments in the euro crisis, this might have an unwelcome currency effect on the yen, which would yet again be used as a safe haven and, therefore, would be even further overvalued. >> the imf now expects the global economy to expand less than the 3.5% annual growth anticipated -- it anticipated in april. lagarde said the lower growth
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estimate is due to deteriorating economic activities, not only in advanced countries, but in emerging economies as well. japan's key economic indicator fell in may for a second month in a row. this was partly due to a drop in car output for the european market. the cabinet office says coincident index showing the current state of the economy fell 1.2 points from april. the index is derived from economic activity such as corporate production and employment. looking ahead, the forecast for the economy, however, looks a bit brighter. the leading index was up by 0.3 points. the first rise in two months. this is due to more job openings created by reconstruction demand from last year's disaster. the cabinet office says it's cautiously watching trends in car sales as the government's ecocar subsidies may come to an end as early as august. finance minister is seeking the cooperation of opposition parties on a bill
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that authorizes the issuance of deficit-covering bonds. about 40% of the funds for the fiscal 2012 budget are needed. so azumi is pushing for the bill to be passed quickly. the expected revenue is nearly $577 billion while the government's budget spending will reach about $492 billion at the end of september. that means unless the bonds are issued, the government's financial resources will almost be depleted in october. >> translator: if lawmakers fail to pass the bill within the current term, the government must take strict austerity measures from september onward. it would have a negative impact on the daily lives of people. >> unlike budget bills, both houses of the diet must give final approval in order to enact a bill to issue government debt
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bonds. cooperation of the opposition parties is essential in the divided diet. last fiscal year, a similar bill was not enacted until the end of august. japan's financial services agency has criticized two auditing firms. it says their poor business management allowed leading optical equipmentmaker olympus to hide huge losses. the two firms are kpmgs and ernst and young. they audited olympus' financial statements at a time when the company's former executives were covering up investment losses. the agency concluded that the auditing systems of both companies didn't function properly. it also said the auditors failed to share detailed information on olympus when ernst & young took over the auditing work from kpmg. the agency ordered the two audith companies to improve the way they do business and also requested them to report on their efforts on a regular basis.
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people popping in to convenience stores in japan are finding products they've never found before. they can still buy a soft drink, gum or a pack of cigarettes. now they are also finding the things they need to make dinner. those kinds of changes help people at lawson, a major convenience chain, hit record operating profits last year. and they are up in the latest quarter by more than 8% to nearly 14 billion yen, or $175 million. nhk world's karuku ishibushi reports. >> reporter: the round the clock convenience store is part of the landscape of every japanese neighborhood. the stores are usually small, but 100 square meters. but they offer around 3,000 items ranging from sushi and sandwiches to underwear. their main customers used to be
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young men. but the number of such shoppers has been falling every year due mostly to japan's age population. chain operators began looking for ways to stop the slowdown. lawson decided to expand its range of vegetables. the chain used to offer only a few kinds of produce, but now stocks over 40 items. the strategy worked. vegetables brought in more customers, especially women. prices are kept low. most items on the shelf cost little more than $1. female shoppers used to account for only 30% of lawson's customers. but the ratio has increased to 45 thanks to the better selection of vegetables and other fresh produce.
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>> translator: i come here almost every day. cut vegetables are very useful for small families like mine. >> translator: it's cheap. i can get almost everything i need at once. very handy. >> reporter: lawson has attracted female customers who used to buy fresh food only at supermarkets. customers picking up vegetables also end up buying meat, tofu and other ingredients. a lawson executive says shoppers who buy produce spend 2.5 times more than the average customer and it's nearly twice as likely to come back. >> translator: customers can save shopping time thanks to the small size of the stores. busy working women are our main target market. >> reporter: these are radishes. they are sold in convenience
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stores. and this farm itself is run by the convenience store. lawson was japan's first convenience store to vent sbour farming. its aim was to avoid running out of stock and being hit by surging vegetable prices due to weather or other factors. this farmer is entering production data. all the data goes to lawson's head office. the company also tracks sales from each store and adjusts production plants depending on trends. the aim of the system is to eliminate waste. the vegetables have their own distribution channels. they operate 24 hours so veggies can arrive in stores fresh any time of day. as they strive to satisfy their
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new female customers, convenience stores are giving a fresh spin to their greatest strength -- convenience. kaoroku ishibushi, nhk world. here are the latest market figures. people navigating the health
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care system are often told to be their own advocates. some parents in japan are learning this lesson when it comes to childhood cancer. medical professionals in this country have focused for years on treating the most common forms of the disease -- lung, colon and breast cancer. but they are not as effective at dealing with the ones that target children. and as nhk world's kotomi fuji tells us, that can have life-threatening consequences. >> reporter: 5-year-old yuk yuki imai lost her sight in both eyes due to cancer. her parents first noticed something was wrong with her eyes three months after she was born. they took her for checkups at four different hospitals. but all of the doctors told them there's nothing abnormal. they even took scans of her entire brain.
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the cancer showed up as cloudy areas in the eyeballs. even so, the doctor gave her diagnosis of no abnormality. finally, yuki was found to have an extremely rare children's cancer called latino blastoma. a year had passed before her parents noticed something was wrong. >> translator: i do wish a specialist thad discovered her cancer while it was still at an early stage. >> translator: if the cancer is discovered early and if it isn't too close to an area that affects vision, there is a strong possibility of saving the child's eyesight. >> reporter: there are other cases in which children have such rare forms of cancer that doctors have found it hard to diagnose. yusei kihara is now 6.
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three years ago, doctors found he had a tumor in his left thigh. however, over a period of two months, he was misdiagnosed three times before the exact form of cancer was discovered. liposarcoma. effective treatments depend on accurate diagnosis. by the time yusi's condition was understood, he had already undergone the wrong chemotherapy causing serious side effects. >> translator: this is a country with advanced medical facilities but there are very few places that know how to treat small children with diseases like this. >> reporter: in the case of yuki imai, the eye cancer discovered too late. her parents faced a difficult decision. surgery to remove her eyeballs to stop the cancer from
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spreading or radiation treatment which would leave her eyeballs intact but risk the possibility of the cancer recurring and spreading. her father wrote a letter for yuki when she grows up. >> translator: to the very end we could not accept the idea of you losing both your eyes. but the highest priority is saving your life. even if you lose your eyesight. we want you to be able to have a long life. >> reporter: the day after, yuki's left eye was removed. later her right eye had to be removed as well because the cancer had spread. at the time, she was still only 22 months old. yuki now attends a school for the blind where she's learning to use her ears and hands to compensate for her lof eyesight. >> translator: there are so few
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medical cases like hers. hospitals need to do more to collect data and accumulate know-how on treatments. we need a medical system that can support patients in overcoming the difficulties they face. >> reporter: every year around 2,500 children in japan develop cancer. steps need to be taken to provide them with adequate diagnosis and treatment. kotomi fujima, nhk world, tokushima. >> government officials in japan are trying to do a better job at dealing with childhood cancer. they've introduced new legislation directed at ten major hospitals in the country. they've told doctors and other medical professionals at these institutions to focus on improving pediatric cancer care. nhk's symphony orchestra has chosen a 49-year-old estonian-american as its next
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chief conductor. paavo jarvi has received several awards during his international career including a grammy for his recording of the sebelius contatas. ♪ jarvi will start his three-year contract from september 2015. he's currently the director of the orchestra de paris and the frankfurt radio symphony orchestra. jarvi's ability to conduct any genre from classical to contemporary music led him to win a grammy in 2004. managers at the nhk symphony orchestra say they are eager to deepen relations with the art whoift has performed nine times with the orchestra has guest conductor. he already enjoys a high profile among japanese concertgoers. the world's top football governing body fev fifa has revd
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its stance on the use of headscarves by female players. members of fifa's rule making panel revised a decision taken five years ago saying the headscarves pose no safety concerns. members of the female football team refused to remove their scarving during a qualification round for the olympics. fifa excluded them from the competition. fifa said the old regulations effectively prevented muslim women from playing football. female athletes in persian gulf nations welcomed the change but some religious leaders maintain that women's participation in sports runs against islamic principles. for an update on the weather forecast, here's mai shoji. mai? >> hi. japan is dealing with a deluge of rainfall. let's get straight into this video coming out from miya prefecture. this afternoon. in just a one-hour span, 46.5 millimeters of rain has fallen
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here in mie prefecture ueno. caused road closures, uh-uh dated houses. numerous travel disruptions here. the next 24 hours into saturday evening, mie prefect surexpecting about 100 millimeters on much to this really well saturated roads and land. even tornado watches were posted in this region. let me pull back and show you what's going to be happening here in japan. we still have that seasonal band lingering across much of this region. yet again we're going to be seeing staggering amounts of rainfall and this is going to be exceeding up to about 200 millimeters in the sea of japan. 180 millimeters still. yet in kyushu where the flood situation is not yet improved and the land is very loose, so landslides, mudslides, these are all going to be at very high risk. further flooding is going to be at risk as well. thunderstorms will be spread widely across much of hongshu
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and tornadic activity cannot be ruled out into saturday evening. it's going to be the start of a wet and stormy weekend for us here in japan. the good news is there's a small high pressure system that will be dominating the korean peninsula and then moving in towards the western japan region. so clearing out from the south. but still, the kanto region will be seeing on and off showers due to the low pressure system that will be persisting to linger over east of kanto. southwestern islands of japan and in towards china. this is where the seasonal band will still be persisting to just a linger cresting overhead. dropping heavy amounts of rainfall. the amounts of rainfall here north of chongching. so further flooding is going to be at very high risk. taking a look at your temperatures. tokyo reaching 30 degrees, as well as seoul on our saturday high. another really humid, uncomfortable day for us tomorrow. in this weekend we're seeing beijing at 29 degrees.
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in the 20s. and that's actually below average for this time of the year. all right. moving over to the americas, you see this cloud formation moving. this is tropical storm daniel which is going to intensify into a hurricane. it's not going to be affecting any land masses. we have a severe area. this is the zone of severe weather eruption. possible in towards the western great lakes region and tornadic activity cannot be ruled out. large hail could be possible as well as very gusty conditions. now across much of the southeast -- western areas, this is where we may find pop-up thunderstorms in the afternoon, evening hours, especially. and localized flash flooding is going to be a very high concern, especially in colorado. particularly in the eastern slope of the mountains because of that wildfire that burnt recently. really dry land. really drenching rainfall. that doesn't really in sync very
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well. across much of the eastern half, still looking at soaring temperatures. take a look at chicago. 39 degrees. and st. louis at 42. and pop-up thunderstorms are going to be at high risk in these areas as well. here's your extended forecast. we'll be back with more updates in 30 minutes. i'm gene otani in tokyo.
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